Jordan Stagmiller is being given an opportunity, and the Arizona United goalkeeper is taking advantage of it.
Stagmiller earned his first career start June 1 when Arizona United faced Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
And Saturday night against Orange County Blues FC, the Avondale native and Phoenix North Canyon High star not only earned his first USL start, but also earned his first professional victory and his first clean sheet in a 2-0 victory.
“It’s exciting you know and it’s great to do it at home,” Stagmiller said. “That’s the biggest thing for me, I mean, if we would have been on the road it would have been great, but to be able to do it at home where I grew up, and to have all my family and friends come out and see it, I just can’t describe it.
“It’s just the best feeling you can get in the world.”
An injury to No. 1 goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski has given Stagmiller the chance to show off his skills. While it’s uncertain when Woszczynski will return to the lineup, it’s a chance that Stagmiller will gladly take.
“I just keep putting in the hard work, and you know Frank (Yallop) and Cory (Robertson) and Birchy (Marc Bircham) keep telling me just keep working hard and things are going to work out,” Stagmiller said, “and so far they have.”
Despite losing 3-0 to Colorado Springs, Stagmiller continued to stay strong, and had command of his box in Saturday’s win. The defense was strong in front of Stagmiller, not allowing a single shot on net, and Stagmiller only had to punch the ball away a couple of times off of corner kicks.
“We’ve been working with Julian (Ringhof) and Uche (Uchenna Uzo) and Pete (Peter Kelly) and Tommy (Tommy Williams) a lot,” Stagmiller said, “and its great that I have older guys like Julian and Tommy back there to help me out since I’m a younger player.”
“But I think we’re finally getting to click and everyone’s listening and working hard, and that’s what it’s about.”
But for the hometown kid who gets the chance to play for his hometown club, Stagmiller couldn’t have been happier on Saturday.
“Being able to be a professional athlete in your hometown is not something a lot of people get to do,” Stagmiller said, “and being able to see my family everyday and also get paid to play a sport is just nothing like it.”